Hizentra treats primary immune deficiency (PI). Hizentra lowers the number of infections one will get.

Hizentra Overview

Reviewed: March 25, 2014

Hizentra is a prescription medicine used to treat primary immune deficiency (PI). It contains antibodies from human plasma, called immunoglobulin G (IgG), that healthy people have to fight germs (bacteria and viruses).

This medication works by temporarily providing the antibodies necessary to fight infection. Hizentra lowers the number of infections one will get. 

This medication comes as a liquid to be injected just under the skin (subcutaneously). It can be given once daily, every week, or once every 2 weeks.

Common side effects include redness, swelling and itching at the injection site as well as headaches, nausea, and fatigue.

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Hizentra Cautionary Labels


Uses of Hizentra

Hizentra is a prescription medication approved as antibody replacement therapy for primary immunodeficiency (PI) in adults and children 2 years of age and older.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Hizentra Drug Class

Hizentra is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Hizentra

Serious side effects have been reported. See "Precautions" section.

Common side effects of Hizentra include:

  • Redness, swelling, itching and/or bruising at injection site
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Cough
  • Rash (including hives)
  • Itching
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Pain (including pain in the chest, back, joints, arms, legs)

Tell your healthcare provider if any side effect is bothersome or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of this medication. 

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Hizentra Interactions

Tell your healthcare provider about the medications you take including prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Especially tell your healthcare provider if you have recently received a live vaccine as this medication may interefere with your body's response to live vaccines.

Also, medications that contain the hormone estrogen (for example, birth control pills), may increase your risk of developing a blood clot. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are taking one of these medications.


Hizentra Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported including:

  • Allergic reactions. Tell your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you have hives, trouble breathing, wheezing, dizziness, or fainting. 
  • Kidney problems including renal failure. Tell your doctor right away if you experience decreased urination, sudden weight gain, fluid retention/swelling in your legs, and/or shortness of breath. 
  • Blood clots. Immediately report symptoms of thrombosis which include:
    • Pain and/or swelling of an arm or leg with warmth over the affected area
    • Discoloration of an arm or leg
    • Unexplained shortness of breath
    • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens on deep breathing
    • Unexplained rapid pulse
    • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Infection in the brain (meningitis). Tell your doctor right away if you experience severe headaches, stiff neck, fatigue, fever, sensitivity to light, painful eye movements, and nausea and vomiting.
  • Blood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you experience fast heart rate, fatigue, yellow skin or eyes, and dark colored urine. 
  • Lung problems. Tell your doctor if you experience chest pains, trouble breathing, blue lips or extremities, and fever. 
  • Infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs and symptoms of an infection such as a Fever over 100°F. 

Do not take this medication if:

  • you are allergic to Hizentra or any of its ingredients
  • you have too much proline in your blood (called "hyperprolinemia")
  • you have had reactions to polysorbate 80

Tell your doctor if you have had a serious reaction to other immune globulin medicines or if you have been told that you also have a deficiency of the immunoglobulin called IgA.

Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood vessel disease or blood clots, have thick blood, or have been immobile for some time. These things may increase your risk of having a blood clot after using Hizentra.

Hizentra Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of this medication there are no specific foods you must exclude from your diet.

Inform MD

Before receiving this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • are allergic to Hizentra or any of its ingredients 
  • have a history of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), stroke, heart attack, or heart failure (low volume of blood pumped by the heart)
  • are inactive for long periods of time (such as long bed rest)
  • have too much proline in your blood (called "hyperprolinemia")
  • have had reactions to polysorbate 80
  • have had a serious reaction to other immune globulin medicines or if you have been told that you also have a deficiency of the immunoglobulin called IgA.
  • have a history of heart or blood vessel disease or blood clots
  • have thick blood
  • if you use estrogens
  • have a kidney problem
  • have Type II diabetes mellitus
  • are older than 65
  • are dehydrated
  • have a blood infection (sepsis)
  • are receiving other medicines that are harmful to your kidneys
  • recently received a live vaccine 

Tell your healthcare provider about the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Hizentra and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category C. Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted. It is also not known whether this medication can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. This medication should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly indicated.

Hizentra and Lactation

Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.

It is not known whether this medication is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and may cause harm, your doctor will decide if you will continue to take Hizentra or stop breastfeeding. 

Hizentra Usage

Administer Hizentra exactly as prescribed. 

Hizentra is administered under the skin. 

You will place up to 4 needles into different areas of your body each time you use Hizentra. The needles are attached to a pump with an infusion tube.

You can have infusions as often as every day up to every two weeks.

For weekly infusions, it can take about 1 to 2 hours to complete an infusion; however, this time may be shorter or longer depending on the dose and frequency your doctor has prescribed for you.

During treatment, you will be tested regularly to ensure you have the correct amount of Hizentra in your blood. 

Infuse this medication only after you have been trained by your doctor or healthcare professional. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional about any instructions you do not understand.

  • This medication should be injected into an area on your abdomen, thigh, upper arm, or side of upper leg/hip.
  • Use a different site from the last time you infused the medication. New sites should be at least 1 inch from a previous site.
  • Never infuse into areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. Avoid infusing into scars or stretch marks.
  • If you are using more than one injection site, be sure the injection sites are at least 2 inches apart.
  • During an infusion, do not use more than 4 injection sites at the same time.

Hizentra Dosage

The dose your healthcare provider recommends may be based on several factors including:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • your body's response to this medication

Over time, the dose may need to be adjusted to achieve the desired clinical response and serum IgG trough level. 

Hizentra Overdose

If you have injected too much medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Keep Hizentra in its original carton to protect it from light.
  • Each vial label contains a peel-off strip with the vial size and product lot number for use in recording doses in a patient treatment record
  • When stored at room temperature (up to 25°C [77°F]), Hizentra is stable for up to 30 months, as indicated by the expiration date printed on the outer carton and vial label.
  • Do not shake.
  • Do not freeze. Do not use product that has been frozen.
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.

Hizentra FDA Warning


  • Thrombosis may occur with immune globulin products1-3, including this medication. Risk factors may include: advanced age, prolonged immobilization, hypercoagulable conditions, history of venous or arterial thrombosis, use of estrogens, indwelling central vascular catheters, hyperviscosity, and cardiovascular risk factors. Thrombosis may occur in the absence of known risk factors.
  • For patients at risk of thrombosis, administer at the minimum dose and infusion rate practicable. Ensure adequate hydration in patients before administration. Monitor for signs and symptoms of thrombosis and assess blood viscosity in patients at risk for hyperviscosity.